University of Southern California, Upgrades to D-Wave’s Newest Annealing Quantum Computer with 5,000+ Qubits, Accessible in the Leap Quantum Cloud Service

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Nations across the globe have been increasing their efforts in the advancement of Quantum technologies. The Indian government announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA) with an outlay of ₹8,000 crore for the next five years. NM-QTA’s focus, as outlined by the Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman, will be in fundamental science, translation, technology development and human and infrastructural resource generation.

D-Wave first made its quantum cloud service available in India in 2020, giving developers and researchers in the country real-time access to its quantum computers. Through this, D-Wave’s quantum computers, hybrid solvers and the application environment can be used via its cloud platform Leap to drive development of business-critical and in-production hybrid applications. The number of active Leap users based in India has increased 58% since January 2021, with India representing the third highest country in terms of Leap sign-ups since its launch.

In a collaboration with D-Wave Inc and Lockheed Martin, the University of Southern California (USC) was the first university worldwide to host a commercial quantum computing system in 2011. With the upgrade to D-Wave’s Advantage™ quantum system, its first 5,000+ qubit machine physically located in the United States at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (USC ISI), USC and D-Wave will increase the capacity for academic researchers, government users, and the business community to continue studying how quantum effects may speed up the solution of complex optimization, machine learning and sampling problems, and new breakthrough results in quantum optimization. The Advantage™ system is accessible via the Leap™ quantum cloud service.

For academic researchers at USC, this upgrade is an opportunity. “The Advantage™ system provides a four-fold increase in the number of qubits from our previous system as well as increased coherence and other performance metrics,” said Daniel Lidar, holder of the Viterbi Professorship of Engineering at USC, and the scientific and technical director of the USC Quantum Computing Center.

“For more than a decade, research and education in Quantum Information Science (QIS) at USC Viterbi has been thriving and constantly growing. Quantum Information Science is a top priority research area,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

USC faculty have mentored a new generation of Ph.D. students in QIS, who now have leadership positions in academia and the industry, Yortsos noted. The school has also established a new master’s degree in quantum information sciences, with current worldwide student demand growing steadily.

“We have great hopes for the new system as we explore coherent quantum annealing to achieve quantum speedups in quantum simulation, best-in-class optimization and machine learning. Some of our first projects will be to investigate speedup over classical optimization methods for hard optimization problems as well as pursuing additional government-funded research for identification and classification of quantum phase transition,” added Lidar.

“Eleven years ago, together with Lockheed Martin, we installed our first quantum system at USC,” said Alan Baratz, the CEO of D-Wave Systems. “Fast forward to today, delivering one of the most performant commercial quantum computers in the world yet again allows users to harness the power of annealing quantum computing for real-world optimization problems, all accessible real-time through our Leap quantum cloud service and in AWS’s Amazon Braket.”

Businesses will benefit from the commercial use-cases that can be run on the quantum hybrid solver service. To date, D-Wave’s customers have developed hundreds of early quantum applications in an array of fields such as financial modeling, flight planning, quantum chemistry simulation, automotive engineering, health care, logistics and more.

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